The program, called "Mobile Futures," begins next week with an
open call for "shovel-ready" mobile technologies that the marketer
plans to launch within three months in support up to 10 brands. In
a second phase, Mondelez will pair brand teams with the selected
startups to create new mobile ventures from scratch within 90 days.
Mondelez will then pitch the concepts to angel investors and
venture capitalists in hopes of securing seed funding.
"This is about challenging our people in that second phase to
think like a startup," Bonin Bough, Mondelez's VP for global media
and consumer engagement, told Ad Age . "What we are trying to do is
build the muscle memory so they are familiar and used to what it's
going to take to win in that mobile space." He is expected to
announce the initiative Wednesday afternoon at an Advertising Week
For instance, the marketer is looking for help in so-called
"social TV," meaning mobile applications that would work closely
with a marketer's TV advertising, as viewers hop between the big
and small screen. Other areas of focus are mobile applications for
in-store marketing, as well as technologies that can help the
company lure on-the-go consumers to stores where its brands are
Consumers are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile
devices, which account for 23% of daily media consumption,
according to Mondelez. Still, marketers have yet to dedicate a
major percentage of their ad spending to the channel. This year
advertisers are spending about 1.5% of their media budgets on
mobile with that forecast to jump to 2.4% next year and 5.5% by
2016, according to the Ad Age Mobile Fact Pack, which cited eMarketer.
Mondelez is planning to invest 10% of its global marketing budget
in "mobile activations and channels across the entire consumer
journey," Mr. Bough said in a statement. "Our goal is to become one
of the top mobile marketers in the world."
The company did not disclose what it currently spends on mobile
marketing. The brands that make up Mondelez spent $1.86 billion on advertising worldwide across all
channels last year, according to financial filings.
Mondelez is characterizing its program as a "network" that will
include other supporting organizations, such as Viacom, AT&T
AdWorks, incubators Prehype and Kicklabs and two unnamed
convenience retailers. Participating angel and venture capital
investors are: First Round Capital, New World Ventures, Commerce
Ventures, OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, BlueRun Ventures and
Transmedia Capital. Also involved are the marketer's media
agencies, MediaVest and Horizon Media.
The initiative follows moves by other consumer packaged-goods
companies to build tighter relationships with startups. PepsiCo,
for instance, recently launched a formal relationship with startups called
Digital Labs in a move to be "front and center with these
companies," rather than relying solely on agencies or other
partners to facilitate relationships. Mr. Bough is a former senior
global director-digital and social media for PepsiCo. He said that in the past CPGs
took a "catch-as-catch can" approach with startups, "randomly"
meeting with them on projects. Mondelez's program is "about
creating a structured process for driving continued innovation and
doing it at scale."
The company will begin taking submissions from startups on Oct.
10 at www.mobilefutures.com.